The final layer is shown here. Details are added around the eyes. The expression and color around the lips are fine tuned. Contrast in the hair is improved by adding deeper darks and colorful light highlights. The hair is softened in places where it meets the face and also softened where it blends with the background. Once dry, I will apply a protective coat of varnish. Then it is ready to be framed and delivered.
This stage of the painting requires a full palette of colors. I am careful to keep the shadow shape and size accurate. I make small corrections when needed. I add opaque paint and bring the portrait towards the finish. I stop When I feel I have captured something unique about the sitter that I do not want to lose. This is intuitive. I allow the paint to dry. I oil out the painting to restore the gloss of the oil paint and resume painting. The dry paint of this layer allows m